It was Pardew who recruited McDermott as chief scout and manager of the Under-17 team in 2000 and the successor to Brendan Rodgers has been with the Royals since.
"I didn't really know Alan until I met him at a game at Brentford. I was cold, it was wet and I was out of work," McDermott said.
"We had a conversation and Alan must have remembered me because I got a phone call out of the blue a little while later asking if I wanted to come.
"I'd never been chief scout before. I was working incredible hours, but I loved it. Alan was paying me about £2.50 per hour, so he got his money's worth.
"I loved working with him, as I did with Steve Coppell. It was never a hardship.
"Alan was very good for me personally and for Reading as a football club. He's been very successful at a number of clubs since."